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Office 365 - Outlook for Windows and OWA - Calendar Best Practices


General Things-To-Do


Use Outlook for Windows or OWA (Outlook Web App) to work with Calendars. It’s okay to look at Calendars in Outlook for Mac and on mobile devices, but don’t do things.

Whenever you make a change to a meeting, be sure to send the update or cancellation to ALL participants.

Only the person who sent the original meeting invitation can invite additional attendees.

If you invite a group (from your Contacts list), click the plus sign next to the group name before sending. This will expand the listing to show all individual group members, and helps prevent meeting corruption.

Whenever possible, have only one Calendar open at a time, and close the Calendar as soon as possible. This helps Office 365 maintain optimal performance.

Whenever possible, create meetings rather than appointments. An appointment (also known a direct booking) is an item that appears on only one Calendar. If the room you’ll be in is schedulable, invite yourself and the room to a meeting. Meetings behave more reliably than appointments.

Clear items that occurred more than two years ago from your Calendar. If need be, you can save the information in a format readable by Excel and other spreadsheets: under Outlook’s File menu, select Open & Export, then step through the wizard.

Recurring Meetings Best Practices

Only use recurring meetings when the meetings happen on a regular schedule, always have the same invitees, and always meet in the same place (if you are using Office 365 to book the room). Every alteration you make to individual occurrences increases the likelihood of corrupting the meeting.

Give recurring meetings an end date.

Recurring meetings should have extend no more than 12 months.

To cancel future occurrences of a recurring meeting, reset the end date of the series. Do not delete occurrences.

General Things-To-Avoid-Doing

Do not move meeting requests out of the Inbox, either manually or by setting up a Rule.

Do not delete meeting requests; accept or decline, but don’t delete.

Do not use the "Private" designation.

Do not forward meetings (even though Outlook provides an option for doing do).

Do not re-use meeting requests through cut-and-paste.

Do not drag-and-drop calendar items to new dates/times.

Do not make changes to individual occurrences of a recurring meeting.

Do not turn on "auto-accept" in Outlook’s options. This setting should only be used for Resource Accounts, not for user accounts.

If a meeting request has been sent and a person’s name appears twice, do not delete one of the names; this will send a cancellation notice to that person and they will be completely uninvited.

Do not use Outlook for Mac to set permissions. Mac users should set permissions via OWA.


A Manager’s Calendar should have no more than one delegate, and only one person (either the Manager OR the Delegate) should receive and act on meeting-related notices. The following bullet points are complicated but very important.

You can also use OWA to set Delegate permissions. It does not include as many options as Outlook 2013. The most important things is that only one person (the Manager OR the Delegate) should act on meeting invitations and meeting-related notices.

Delegate permissions are set in Outlook 2013, using a procedure quite different from setting calendar sharing permissions.

  • If the Delegate will be handling incoming meeting requests (and related notices), follow these recommendations when using Outlook 2013 to set permissions:
    • When setting up Delegate permissions, on the Delegates dialog box, for Deliver meeting requests address to me, select My delegates only.
    • On the Delegate Permissions dialog box, check Delegate receives copies of meeting-related messages sent to me.
    • The Delegate should leave their workstation turned on and their Outlook client logged in while they are out of the office, to ensure that new meeting requests post to the Manager’s Calendar.
  • If the Manager will be handling incoming meeting requests (and related notices), follow these recommendations when using Outlook 2013 to set permissions:
    • When setting up Delegate permissions, on the Delegates dialog box, for Deliver meeting requests address to me, select My delegates and me. The Delegate will see new items on the Manager’s Calendar, but should not take any action on them.
    • On the Delegate Permissions dialog box, Delegate receives copies of meeting-related messages sent to me should be UNchecked.
  • If you decide that there must be more than one Delegate on a Manager’s Calendar, a clear decision must be made as to who will take action. Everyone else should adopt a look-but-don’t-touch approach.

Delegates can be granted Editor, Author, or Reviewer access.

  • It is highly unusual to have a Delegate with "Reviewer" permissions. Instead, simply give the person Reviewer status on the Calendar’s Permissions tab.
  • Delegates with Author or Editor access should be given the same level of access (Author or Editor) for Tasks. You set this while granting Delegate permission.
  • Although you can grant Editor or Author permission on a Calendar’s permission tab, this will not give them SendOnBehalfOf permission. Only Delegates receive SendOnBehalfOf.

Delegates and Managers should use the same version of Outlook (either 2010 or 2013). If the versions are different, the Manager may see duplicate meetings.


adapted from syracuse IT support site.

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